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June 24, 2009

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Fillings For Baby Teeth A Waste Of Time

It may be a waste of time sending children to the dentist to have fillings. The BBC reports on the opinion of 50 British dentists who attended a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary to fill baby teeth. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they don’t have to. This could be good news for kids who hate the dentist. Many children develop a fear of dentists because of fillings, injections and the sound of the drill. This can become a phobia and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in care, which means that a young child with signs of tooth decay could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending on which dentist they attend.”


Dental decay is one of the most common childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at risk of decay. From as young as six months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are early childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these can affect speech, communication, nutrition and quality of life. They say the good news is that decay is preventable. A dental expert, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved dental hygiene, and the child eating fewer sugary things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth on a case-by-case basis.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. TEETH: Walk around the class and talk to other students about teeth. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

waste of time / the dentist / conferences / fears / adulthood / tooth decay / fillings / childhood health problems / baby bottles / nutrition / quality of life / sugary things

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. WHAT A WASTE: Do you ever think about waste? Complete this table. Talk about what you wrote to your partner. Change partners and share what you heard.

A waste of…

In my life?

Can I change this?

time

 

 

food

 

 

money

 

 

talent

 

 

electricity

 

 

space

 

 

4. DENTURES: Students A strongly believe teeth are a waste of time and we should all have dentures (false teeth); Students B strongly believe teeth are one of the most important parts of our body.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. DENTAL HYGIENE: DO you look after your teeth? Talk about these things with your partner. How often do you do them? Change partners and share what you heard.

  • brush your teeth
  • brush your tongue
  • floss
  • have regular dental check-ups
  • use mouthwash
  • avoid sweets
  • braces
  • use toothpicks

6. DECAY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘decay’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Scientists say there is no need to take small children to the dentist.

T / F

b.

Dentists say some children visit the dentist when it is needless.

T / F

c.

Children can develop a fear of dentists because of injections and drills.

T / F

d.

All dentists treat tooth decay in baby teeth the same way.

T / F

e.

Tooth decay is a major health problem for children.

T / F

f.

Some babies get tooth decay from their feeding bottle.

T / F

g.

American dentists say tooth decay can affect a child’s quality of life.

T / F

h.

An expert says children eat too many things containing sugar.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

opinion

a.

holes

2

unnecessary

b.

build up

3.

develop

c.

go to

4.

phobia

d.

specialist

5.

attend

e.

come out

6.

appear

f.

point of view

7.

cavities

g.

fear

8.

nutrition

h.

presently

9.

expert

i.

needless

10.

currently

j.

diet

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

It may be a waste

a.

hate the dentist

2

it could be unnecessary to fill

b.

preventable

3.

good news for kids who

c.

sugary things

4.

the sound

d.

of time

5.

depending on

e.

childhood health problems

6.

one of the most common

f.

baby teeth

7.

decay is

g.

basis

8.

improved dental

h.

of the drill

9.

eating fewer

i.

hygiene

10.

on a case-by-case

j.

which dentist they attend

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

It may be a ___________ of time sending children to the dentist to have fillings. The BBC reports on the ___________ of 50 British dentists who attended a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary to ___________ baby teeth. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they don’t have to. This could be good ___________ for kids who hate the dentist. Many children develop a ___________ of dentists because of fillings, injections and the sound of the drill. This can become a ___________ and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in care, which means that a young child with ___________ of tooth decay could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending on which dentist they ___________.”

 

 

 

fill
phobia
waste
attend
fear
opinion
signs
news

Dental decay is one of the most ___________ childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at ___________ of decay. From as young as six months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are ___________ childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these can affect speech, communication, nutrition and ___________ of life.  They say the good news is that decay is preventable. A dental ___________, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved dental ___________, and the child eating fewer ___________ things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth on a case-by-case ___________.

 

 

quality
sugary
risk
early
basis
common
hygiene
expert

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

It may be a waste of time sending children ________________ have fillings. The BBC reports ________________ 50 British dentists who attended a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary ________________. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they ________________. This could be good news for kids who hate the dentist. Many children develop a fear of dentists because of fillings, injections and ________________ drill. This can become a phobia and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in care, which means that a young child with __________________ could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending on which dentist they attend.”

Dental decay is one of ________________ childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at risk of decay. From ________________ months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are early childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these ________________, communication, nutrition and quality of life.  They say the good __________________ is preventable. A dental expert, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved dental hygiene, and the child _________________ things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth ________________ basis.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘tooth’ and ‘decay’.

tooth

decay

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • waste
  • attended
  • news
  • sound
  • wide
  • depending
  • common
  • young
  • affect
  • expert
  • improved
  • basis

STUDENT DENTIST SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about dentists in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

TEETH DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘teeth’?

c)

Are you happy with your teeth?

d)

What do you do to look after your teeth?

e)

How much money would you pay to have perfect teeth?

f)

Do you like going to the dentist?

g)

How important is it to look after baby teeth if they fall out?

h)

What do children do when their baby teeth fall out?

i)

What do think about when you sit in the dentist’s chair?

j)

Do you think dentists are good value for money?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What’s your favourite toothpaste?

c)

What could you do to improve your dental hygiene?

d)

What education did you have about dental hygiene?

e)

How much can dental hygiene affect your quality of life?

f)

Why do you think there’s no agreement among dentists on how to treat baby teeth?

g)

What do you think dentists will be like in the future?

h)

Do you eat too many sugary things?

i)

Do you think it’s a good idea to brush your tongue?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr Gail Topping about teeth?

LANGUAGE

It may be a waste of (1) ____ sending children to the dentist to have fillings. The BBC reports on the opinion of 50 British dentists who (2) ____ a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary to fill baby teeth. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they don’t have to. This could be good news for kids who (3) ____ the dentist. Many children develop a fear (4) ____ dentists because of fillings, injections and the sound of the drill. This can become a phobia and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in (5) ____, which means that a young child with signs of tooth decay could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending (6) ____ which dentist they attend.”

Dental decay is one of the most (7) ____ childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at risk (8) ____ decay. From as young as six months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are early childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these can affect speech, communication, nutrition and (9) ____ of life.  They say the good news is that decay is (10) ____. A dental expert, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved (11) ____ hygiene, and the child eating fewer sugary things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth on a case-by-case (12) ____.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

timed

(b)

timely

(c)

times

(d)

time

2.

(a)

attended

(b)

attendance

(c)

attention

(d)

attending

3.

(a)

hatred

(b)

hating

(c)

hate

(d)

hates

4.

(a)

so

(b)

of

(c)

at

(d)

to

5.

(a)

caring

(b)

care

(c)

careless

(d)

careful

6.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

on

(d)

by

7.

(a)

common

(b)

commons

(c)

commonly

(d)

commonest

8.

(a)

to

(b)

by

(c)

on

(d)

of

9.

(a)

qualify

(b)

quantity

(c)

quantify

(d)

quality

10.

(a)

prevents

(b)

preventable

(c)

preventative

(d)

prevented

11.

(a)

dental

(b)

dentist

(c)

dentistry

(d)

dented

12.

(a)

based

(b)

base

(c)

basis

(d)

basic

WRITING: 

Write about teeth for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about teeth. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. DENTAL HYGIENE: Make a poster about dental hygiene. Include lots of advice. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. DENTIST: Write a magazine article about going to the dentist. Include imaginary interviews with a dentist and someone with a fear of dentists.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on teeth. Ask him/her three questions about teeth. Give him/her three suggestions on how to make visits to the dentists more enjoyable. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

opinion

a.

point of view

2

unnecessary

b.

needless

3.

develop

c.

build up

4.

phobia

d.

fear

5.

attend

e.

go to

6.

appear

f.

come out

7.

cavities

g.

holes

8.

nutrition

h.

diet

9.

expert

i.

specialist

10.

currently

j.

presently

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

It may be a waste

a.

of time

2

it could be unnecessary to fill

b.

baby teeth

3.

good news for kids who

c.

hate the dentist

4.

the sound

d.

of the drill

5.

depending on

e.

which dentist they attend

6.

one of the most common

f.

childhood health problems

7.

decay is

g.

preventable

8.

improved dental

h.

hygiene

9.

eating fewer

i.

sugary things

10.

on a case-by-case

j.

basis

GAP FILL:

Fillings for baby teeth a waste of time

It may be a waste of time sending children to the dentist to have fillings. The BBC reports on the opinion of 50 British dentists who attended a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary to fill baby teeth. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they don’t have to. This could be good news for kids who hate the dentist. Many children develop a fear of dentists because of fillings, injections and the sound of the drill. This can become a phobia and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in care, which means that a young child with signs of tooth decay could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending on which dentist they attend.”

Dental decay is one of the most common childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at risk of decay. From as young as six months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are early childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these can affect speech, communication, nutrition and quality of life.  They say the good news is that decay is preventable. A dental expert, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved dental hygiene, and the child eating fewer sugary things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth on a case-by-case basis.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - b

6 - c

7 - a

8 - d

9 -d

10 - b

11 - a

12 - c

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